From May 24-30 the EDWON team, with our partners Nidan and Marie Stopes International—Nepal, hosted two Reproductive Health Workshops, for two days each, in Baglung and Arghakhanchi. 27 community health workers and Women’s Group leaders in Baglung (pop. 29,000) and 19 in Arghakhanchi (pop. 3,000) eagerly attended.
The women were not disappointed as they gained life-changing knowledge on topics ranging from how to have healthy pregnancies and deliveries to basic neonatal care and the risks of early-age marriage to the fundamentals of family-planning. And the trainers taught the material with a sensitivity to what the women most wanted to learn and how they would best learn it, modifying their lesson based on participant feedback and an assessment of their level of knowledge as well as using visual aids and simple language.
Particularly in the community of Arghakhanchi, Kamal Pariyar, our project manager in Nepal, reported that “The women were very forthcoming in sharing their experiences, something that had not happened in earlier trainings. The team was able to create the environment to allow them to open up and talk about things they would normally consider embarrassing or taboo.”
Furthermore, Kamal stated that “Participants from both groups were so happy with this training and they shared that they will apply the learning they obtained from the training in their life as well as share the ideas and knowledge with their Women’s Groups, relatives, friends, and communities.”
Approximately 245 more women are expected to benefit from the 46 attendees’ new knowledge adding to the growing community of women empowered by our team. EDWON, along with its partners, hopes to build a community of women in remote regions of Nepal who, thanks to their increased understanding of reproductive and sexual health, have gained control of family planning decisions while having healthier babies and living healthier lives.
Laxmi speaks so eloquently for the group of 33 rural girls who are benefiting from the Ambitious Girls Fund this year:
“I express my gratitude from the core of heart to all who helped me for this opportunity,” says Laxmi. “One day, I will become a nurse and help poor people, like my own father and family, who suffer from disease and cannot afford treatment. Similarly, I will help the organization (our partner, ADWAN) that gave me this opportunity as much as I can.”
When Laxmi’s father had an accident and his hand was paralyzed he could no longer work to feed his family. He was still in his thirties. Her mother went to work for meager wages and her brother and sister had to drop out of school. But the family wanted to keep Laxmi in school by all means, as she was such a bright student. And, in fact, beating the odds for a rural Dalit girl, she passed the difficult 10th grade exam with flying colors, which qualified her for higher education.
Influenced by her family’s situation, Laxmi dreamt of becoming a nurse—normally an impossible dream for someone like her. But, thanks to your help, she is approaching her goal.
By supporting the Ambitious Girls Fund through GlobalGiving, you are also helping 32 other girls, who are preparing to become teachers, administrators, technicians and social workers. Thank you.
We encourage you to write to us and comment on Laxmi’s story. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to help EDWON attract wider support for our Ambitious Girls Fund. It changes lives.
You may have noticed we have changed the name, Gateway for Girls to the Ambitious Girls Fund. Our aim remains the same: to help girls educate themselves and change the world.
Two Reproductive Health Workshops took place in the villages of Manakamana and Tanglichowk in Gorkha District of Nepal. A total of 73 women leaders were trained in the following topics: early age marriage and pregnancy, adolescent health, care of pregnant women, danger signs during pregnancy and how to take care of them, breast cancer, uterine prolapse, family planning, and safe abortions.
The 73 women leaders will communicate the life-saving knowledge presented in the workshops to more than 500 women, enabling women and children to live healthier lives and entire communities to make more informed childbearing and family-planning decisions. We hope that awareness of the dangers of early marriage and childbearing will decrease such practices; and that with access to contraception, women will plan and space their pregnancies. A number of free family planning services are available through organizations such as Marie Stopes International and the women got the chance to learn about them in these workshops.
When asked how she would use the information presented at the workshop in Manakamana, one of the participants, Tuku, answered, "I will talk about this knowledge with other women in our monthly group meeting. I will visit individually with the girls in my village to raise awareness in order to stop early-age marriage and childbirth. I will visit pregnant women to advise them about the care they need to take when they are pregnant. I will share my knowledge with illiterate women about reproductive and sexual health.”
Furthermore, Kamal Pariyar, our project manager in Nepal, was impressed with the trainers’ ability to connect to the women and win their trust. What could be more important in a teaching situation? Despite delay and inconvenience caused by heavy rain, the workshops were successful and women thanked the trainers for the information so vital to their lives.
Follow-up visits will take place in 8 months to reinforce the new knowledge and to give trainers feedback on their approach.